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Portable rescue devices

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Re: Portable rescue devices

Postby Steamdonkey on Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:53 pm

In my opinion, the SPOT units are garbage. They are poorly made, have a reputation for unreliability and quick breakage, and require an expensive subscription fee. For the first time, this summer I hiked with a PLB, and ACR ResQ 402. It was light, very well made, and operates on government rather than private satellite services so it has no subscription costs. For a fee, you can hook it up to a status text message service that sends out "I'm okay" messages with lat/long coordinates but that is an option. I really only use these for long, solo backcountry trips in locales more remote than the Santa Lucias, but if you're going to use one anywhere, spend the extra for an ACR. What's the point of entrusting your safety to a crappy machine you've saved a a few dollars on (And even then, the ACR pays for its higher costs by having no subscription costs)?
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Re: Portable rescue devices

Postby JasonG on Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:42 pm

jack_glendening wrote:Getting back to the original subject, I find I am out-of-date regarding PLBs (since I last checked this out when I bought my SPOT 2 years ago). There is now a "McMurdo Fast Find 210 PLB" which weighs only 5.3 oz (per REI), essentially the same as a SPOT, and costs only $250 (per REI), so since there is no subscription after two years this would be cheaper than a SPOT if you only want an "emergency" device (i.e. are not interested in telling the family where you are). Since it is small, it's battery is only rated to 24 hrs vice 48 hrs of the bigger units, but for hikers that should not be too critical.

Jack
.


That's the one I have. I like that if you press the oh-shit button it also sends your GPS coords to SAR.

Comes with a neoprene case that I clip to a pant loop and keep it in my front pocket. Didn't bother me much at all on a 5-day last year.
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Re: Portable rescue devices

Postby jack_glendening on Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:24 pm

Getting back to the original subject, I find I am out-of-date regarding PLBs (since I last checked this out when I bought my SPOT 2 years ago). There is now a "McMurdo Fast Find 210 PLB" which weighs only 5.3 oz (per REI), essentially the same as a SPOT, and costs only $250 (per REI), so since there is no subscription after two years this would be cheaper than a SPOT if you only want an "emergency" device (i.e. are not interested in telling the family where you are). Since it is small, it's battery is only rated to 24 hrs vice 48 hrs of the bigger units, but for hikers that should not be too critical.

Jack
.
Big Sur Trailmap: http://bigsurtrailmap.net
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Re: Portable rescue devices

Postby fedak on Sat Jun 04, 2011 8:37 pm

Some people do climb solo unprotected by a rope.


Dan Osmand, RIP:
John Fedak
http://www.fedak.net/backcountry.html
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Re: Portable rescue devices

Postby jack_glendening on Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:39 pm

I suspect he was relying not only on the figurine but also upon a rope! Some people do climb solo unprotected by a rope. Everyone chooses his own level of risk, nothing is completely safe. Out in the woods is no different. Jack
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Re: Portable rescue devices

Postby K Vandevere on Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:53 pm

Actually, Boon, my old rock climbing partner, Jack, used to carry a plastic dashboard Jesus in his chalk bag and tape it onto the rock next to sketchy protection placements when he was making scary leads --- just for that extra edge. Not everyone thought it was funny, though.
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Re: Portable rescue devices

Postby jack_glendening on Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:24 pm

Personally, I've had a SPOT for two years which I carry whenever I am hiking alone. I've only turned it on once, to test it, but I know I'll be glad it's there if I ever break my leg.

I also fly a sailplane and wear a parachute when I do so - I've never had to use it either, but I know some folks that have.

Jack
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Re: Portable rescue devices

Postby Boon on Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:33 pm

While I like the "survival ball" idea more than the backcountry electronic gadgetry, I'm thinking that a backpack mounted version of the tried-and-true dashboard ornament would really ensure one's safe return from the wilds:

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Re: Portable rescue devices

Postby K Vandevere on Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:25 pm

Maybe the "SurvivaBall" concept could be adapted for Wilderness use. That would really ensure safety!
See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eO1Bm8Wrwe8&feature=player_embedded#at=13
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Re: Portable rescue devices

Postby JasonG on Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:12 pm

jack_glendening wrote:Yes, but still not receive - so you can't be sure that your "emergency" transmission was actually received.

Jack


I'm kind of amazed that 2-way texting via satellite is still a challenge in 2011. It's not like you need a persistent, quality connection like for video or voice. I see satellite phone video on the news all the time, and not from a satellite truck. The entire bandwidth of what I might need to exchange on a weeklong hike is less bandwidth than one frame of video.
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